Proposed rate increase in Hoquiam cut in half for residents

Hoquiam residents will see an increase in their Ambulance Utility Fee in 2017, but not as much as originally thought.

On Monday night, the approved an increase in the fee starting in 2017, but prior to the meeting the increase was cut in half.

The Regulatory Committee met prior to the council meeting, recommending a $4.09 increase instead of the $8.19 proposed in November.

Finance Director Corri Schmid said that after meeting with council members, they felt that the smaller increase was more appropriate.

The Regulatory Committee also recommended that staff review the current contracts for out of district calls and re-negotiate those rates, as well as put together “alternative working models” for both fire and ambulance.

The new fees are meant to normalize the Ambulance Fund, which is currently sitting $232,000 below budget.

Currently, Hoquiam residents are paying a fee of $11.83 per month as a base rate. The proposal would have increased that fee to $20.22 per utility customer, now increasing it to %15.92 a month starting January 1.

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